Platooning technology has made significant advances in the last decade, but to achieve the next step towards deployment of truck platooning, an integral multi-brand approach is required. Aiming for Europe-wide deployment of platooning, ‘multi-brand’ solutions are paramount. It is the ambition of ENSEMBLE to realise pre-standards for interoperability between trucks, platoons and logistics solution providers, to speed up actual market pick-up of (sub)system development and implementation and to enable harmonisation of legal frameworks in the member states.
The main goal of the ENSEMBLE project is to pave the way for the adoption of multi-brand truck platooning in Europe to improve fuel economy, traffic safety and throughput. This will be demonstrated by driving up to seven differently branded trucks in one (or more) platoon(s) under real-world traffic conditions across national borders. During the years, the project goals are:
- Year 1: setting the specifications and developing a reference design with acceptance criteria
- Year 2: implementing this reference design on the OEM’s own trucks as well as performing impact assessments with several criteria
- Year 3: focussing on testing multi-brand platoons on test tracks and international public roads
In summary, the explicit aim of this project is to take the last steps of technological research before full deployment of multi-brand truck platooning. ENSEMBLE aims to communicate the economic, societal and environmental impact of decisions surrounding platoon forming and dissolving. ENSEMBLE also strives to modernize the transport system by finding an optimal balance between fuel consumption, emission level, travel times and impact on highway traffic flow, resulting in reduced impacts on climate change, air pollution, noise, health and accidents.
- Interoperable platooning — when forming a scalable, multi-brand convoy – the vehicles must be compatible to ensure correct and safe operation. Platooning levels will be defined to break down the complexity of multi-brand platooning into manageable steps towards deployment on public roads whilst reflecting the full diversity of trucks.
- Safe Platooning — in ENSEMBLE designing fail-safe and fault tolerant mechanisms is a priority to include safe interaction both within the platoon and with other road users using secure wireless communication. ENSEMBLE will approach the road authorities to jointly define road approval requirements taking into account the impact of platoons on the road and infrastructure.
- Real-life platooning — Practical tests on closed testing grounds and in real life serve to experience ‘learning by doing’, to assess the impact on traffic and infrastructure and to promote multi-brand platooning through a presentation of a multi-brand platoon in real traffic conditions across national borders.
- Embedded platooning — ENSEMBLE will design an interface to cloud-based services so that the platooning concept can be seamlessly integrated into the logistics value chain.
This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 Research and Innovation Programme under Grant Agreement number 769115.